"PMS isn't real Needy, it was invented by the boy-run media to make us seem like we're crazy."
— Jennifer, Jennifer's Body
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the physical and mental effects of hormone changes in females of childbearing years. Those effects can include depression, tender breasts, food cravings, bloating, fatigue, mood swings, constipation or diarrhea, and irritability. The Mayo Clinic estimates
that three out of four women between puberty and menopause will have some form of PMS.
If a fictional work decides to avert No Periods, Period
, though, forget about the 25% who don't suffer any ill effects. The only effect of PMS will be irritability, and every
menstruating woman will
suffer from it.
Occasionally, a work will use a different effect of PMS. However, the only significance of these will be to make
the character irritable. Cramps are good for this, especially considering that 3-7 days of pain will make just about anyone cranky. Bloating might show up so the character can complain about her clothes not fitting. You won't see food cravings
, though, as they're associated with pregnancy — unless the writers are trying to throw a curveball
For the supernatural version, see Menstrual Menace
Anime & Manga
- Averted in Seitokai Yakuindomo. Though the girls do complain about menstrual cramps, their personalities seem unaffected.
- Played to good effect in the Gunslinger Girl anime when Triela suffers from her period. She has intense cramps and implied nausea, made worse by the fact that she is forbidden pain killers by the Agency because of her conditioning. The irritation arises naturally when her pain is compounded by the attitude of her handler and their target.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka is not amused of having periods every months, and adding to the fact, that Shinji has surpassed her, she's even in a worse mood than she is usual.
- In the Sisterhood Of Steel graphic novel, Boronwe: Daughter of Death, Boronwe's friend and roomate Dindra is bitching about her period while they're playing a board game. Boronwe sardonically asks why it is that Dindra seems to suffer the worst cramps whenever she's losing the game but is perfectly fine when she's winning.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic A Voice Among The Strangers, the main human character gets hit with this really hard with her first period in Equestria. The fact that there is a language barrier between her and the ponies, and like real horses don't bleed out the crotch when it happens (most likely twice per year) leads to some confusion. The fact that she was under emotional turmoil justifies it, as she mentions to herself that she hadn't had cramps this bad since she was a teenager, and she's never been that emotional, period.
- The Massive Multiplayer Crossover Pro Wrestling fanfic Character Championship Wrestling, Gwen Tennyson goes into a rage filled PMS state whenever she is pissed off. Sometimes played for laughs, and sometimes comes with blood...lots of it...
- In a Discworld fic about the difference between Assassination and normal ordinary boring murder, licenced Assassin Miss Alice Band testily says that for a week in every month, a female Assassin is the deadliest thing on Disc as in that mood, she's capable of "inhuming" any number of men for fun rather than profit. Her post-menopausal colleague Joan Sanderson-Reeves, who has been there and done that, agrees, but argues the inhumation fees are still jolly necessary, so as to buy expensive chocolate from Weinrich and Boettcher (the most expensive chocolatier in Ankh-Morpork).
- Averted in The Red Tent. Although the women all menstruate at more-or-less the same time (Jacob's wives start first, with servants starting a few days later) around the New Moon, and they are secluded (partly because of the men fearing that they are contaminated or whatever, and partly so they can conduct certain religious rituals without any objections), they don't seem to experience adverse symptoms aside from perhaps a little tiredness. It's a restful time, and the women literally celebrate this chance of renewal with offerings to Inanna, socializing, cakes (more like cookies or scones), and fine wine.
- A nice scene in the Protector of the Small quartet averts this as Kel and her friend/maid discuss what happens during your period. While it does mention that some women do get overly angry, others might just get a little weepy or desire sweets. In the next book, a brief mention is made of Kel having her period and crying over a very bad day when she otherwise wouldn't.
- Sara from Zits has two turtles; Peaches and Mordoc, Lord of Unholy Fury. Named during different times of the month.
- Most viral posts on Tumblr that are about periods tend to focus entirely on the most extreme cases of menstruation and PMS. They almost never even mention individuals who don't suffer much (if at all) from the side effects, much less the people who get periods but don't have the PMS that's presumed to go hand in hand with it. Outside of that, however, it's very important to note that the posts themselves are rarely hyperbolic in regards to what the extreme cases are like for those who do experience them, unless it's being exaggerated for comedic purposes. Indeed, almost all of the viral posts are written by members who do suffer from the more extreme symptoms of PMS and periods, and if they just so happen to be female only in terms of biology, the frustration with their circumstances only gets worse. Many of the posts are also written and/or drawn in response to people telling them that periods aren't a big deal and that they should "stop overreacting", so the members are very likely to believe that mentioning the exceptions would only serve to weaken their argument.
- This is the only way to tell that Terraria averts No Periods, Period. Most of the female NPCs become rather irritable during a Blood Moon.
- How Kyo'nne of Drowtales, who is a drow, a species that doesn't get periods, explains what a period◊ is to another drow, when her human companion is on their period.
- Code Name: Hunter: Ruby suffers from some of this just before the Treaty Night event.
- Sinfest occasionally highlights the PMS cramps/cravings of Monique, its single human female character.
- This xkcd, though the woman suffering PMS is grumpy less because of her condition and more because her boyfriend takes the time to crack a bad pun.
- Parodied in this animated webcomic. One girl is visited by a personification of periods and is swiftly punched in the crotch. Her friend sitting nearby just gets some affectionate slaps, and thus is in no pain at all when her period occurs.
- Fem Fortress, a fan-video of Team Fortress 2 that swaps out the male voices for female ones (but not the models, oddly enough). Everyone on the team goes on their period at the same time, and are unable to fight. Except the Pyro.
- Played with in the 6teen episode "Enter the Dragon" where the girls' cycles sync up. Caitlin does have PMS, but Jen has cramps and Nikki becomes overly needy.